Near the beginning of 2022 training camp, the Detroit Lions made an interesting addition to their running back room in former-Charger Justin Jackson. Now, with the first practice of 2023 training camp on the horizon, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 in Houston reported Friday the Lions intend to re-sign Jackson.
With a full 90-man roster heading into training camp, the Lions will have to make a corresponding move before the signing of Jackson is made official.
Jackson served as the Lions' kickoff returner last season, with the fourth-best return average (26.7 yards per) and the sixth-most kickoff return yards in the league. He also added 170 rushing yards and a touchdown on 42 carries, with 12 catches for 101 yards and another score through the air.
The Lions remodeled the top two spots on their running back depth chart this offseason. Re-signing Jackson didn't seem to ever be on the table, despite his being a notable contributor to the team last season.
Now, Jackson joins Craig Reynolds, Jermar Jefferson and Mohamed Ibrahim in the battle for the No. 3 running back spot. Greg Bell, and undrafted rookie in 2022, is also on the 90-man roster.
Is Justin Jackson now the favorite to be the Lions' No. 3 running back?
Ibrahim, the undrafted rookie out of Minnesota, has been the popular favorite to win the No. 3 running back spot for the Lions during camp and the preseason. Reynolds and Jefferson were the most significant other competitors, but Jackson is a noteworthy addition based on filling the role effectively when he was called upon last year.
Mike Payton of AtoZ Sports took an early stab at a prediction of the Lions' new running back pecking order. It's easy to see it ending up that way.
Jackson probably remained available, even as a depth option in a running back mix and a capable kickoff returner as the latter play is being taken out of the game, longer than he should have. It makes sense for the Lions to bring him back, and an already interesting camp battle just added a layer.